Sitting on the Indian Ocean, Tonga is simply known by most travelers as the ‘Friendly Islands’. The archipelago forming Tonga country consists of four groups of islands. Tonga country is an absolute monarchy, an aspect that seems to haunt the country as far as being a tourist destination is concerned. This is because, despite the loyalty of the Tongans to their king, pro-democracy fighting and riots have become quite common nowadays which seems to be scaring away tourists from the country.
The recent riots claimed 8 lives as the nationals push for accountability within the country. The economy of Tonga is not adequately developed and in fact, there are no corporate chain good s stores here in Tonga Island with everything being supplied by local small businesses.
Tonga Island is a relatively appealing destination for tourists and locals are very friendly and hospitable to visitors. Besides, the recent riots didn’t target any tourists in the country but even though; don’t travel to Tonga with expectations of finding a state of the art attractions or an advanced infrastructure like in the developed Europe or American countries. Nevertheless, Nuku’alofa still boasts of several tourism facilities and you can expect to have a busy 3- 5 days tour in Tonga Island. The largest island in Tonga is the Tongatapu with a majority of the population the country residing here. The capital, Nuku’alofa, is also housed here and despite some of its troubles, the town has a relaxed, inviting air.
While you are the capital, tourists can visit the coastal blowholes and the ancient tombs. Being an island on the Indian Ocean, you can as well expect to find some beautiful sandy beaches where you can enjoy snorkeling not to mention the unique culture of the people. The northern part of the Island has some resorts and you will find very good accommodation facilities in Nukualofa including guest houses that are perfect for backpackers. Another island worth visiting in Tonga is Eua which has some rather dramatic cliffs and some beaches as well. A bigger part of the island is covered by a tropical rain forest which makes a great trekking destination.
You will also find a beautiful harbor and coral atolls in Vava’u Island which attracts more than 500 yachts per season. The clear waters attract humpback whales which you will have a nice time seeing them. Additionally, you can rent a yacht and sail in the sea, dive in the clear waters, go kayaking and game fishing, or even kite surfing. The Ha’pai Island is famous for the infamous ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ and offers good opportunities for whale seeing, diving and snorkeling while its sandy beaches are also great.
Besides the many historical sites, you can see in Tonga Island, you can enjoy a wide range of activities especially those related to the nature of the Island. Beaches in Tonga Island are lovely and you can spend all your afternoons there sunbathing on the beaches.